I often get asked how I got involved with golf. So I thought I would write a series of blogs about how I got into the game and where it has taken me. My path to golf was a bit unconventional since no one in my household played the game. It was a family friend who introduced me to the game that would shape my life.
Part 1: Dandelions and Tutu’s Growing up I played everything but golf – baseball, basketball, volleyball, you name it. Baseball was my first love starting at the tender age of five with tee ball, then onto coach pitch, and finally Little League. I played alongside the boys until I was about twelve, happily following around my big brother. I wanted to be wherever he was, doing whatever he was doing. I cried when I was told that I could not join the Boy Scouts of America. Big brother was happy, though, to finally not have his little sister tagging along!
Somewhere during those coach pitch years I got into basketball and played both sports for awhile. I also had a short ballet career mixed in. Ask my mom for that video! If I find it, I will post it. By the time junior high school started I had moved on from baseball and focused solely on basketball. My seventh grade year I was selected to the junior high varsity basketball team, which was a big deal at the time. It meant that I would play varsity for my 7th thru 9th grades and then transition onto the high school varsity team. However, to this day I wonder whether I was chosen for varsity based on my basketball skills, or because I was a head taller than all of the other girls on the court. I am going to lean towards skills and ignore my awkward, stick out like a sore thumb, growing pains days.
Side note – Athens Junior High School offered grades 7th – 9th with the option of staying there for your 9th grade year or moving onto high school for the remaining 4 years. You will read in my next post how the decision I made regarding this shaped my path towards golf.
Between my 7th and 8th grade years a dear friend of mine, Jimmy Haynie, asked if I would be interested in playing golf. He had just started teaching a college golf class and invited me to come along. Willing to try most anything (remember the ballet) I happily accepted. My first day on course, first golf experience of any kind, was at Ridgewood Golf Course in Athens, TN. I remember being all over the place, but making decent contact. It was fun and frustrating all at the same time. The “bug” had bitten me though and I wanted to get back out there and keep trying. You could compare my first few golf experiences to my early baseball days – lost in left field picking dandelions. I loved being out there, yet had no idea what was going on!
To be continued…